By Josh Saunders
A mum who lost 11 stone has gone from having ‘sagging granny skin’ to the perfect bikini body thanks to her doting husband’s surgery gift.
Donna Clayton, 33, from St Joseph in Missouri, USA, ballooned to a hefty 18st 8 (260lb) after years of consuming large portions of spaghetti and other carb-heavy meals.
After having a gastric bypass three years ago, the mum lost nearly 11 stone (150lb) in nine months thanks to strictly following her post-surgery diet and exercising.
But the mum was horrified after she was left with ‘sagging granny skin’ that hung lower than her genitals and ‘deflated breasts’ that made her weight loss feel ‘worthless.’
She was so embarrassed that she refused to be naked in front of husband David, who decided to help demoralised Donna by paying £7,000 ($9,000) for a combined tummy tuck, breast lift and implants.
Now Donna’s so happy with her look she’s wearing a two-piece bikini for the first time in her life and can’t wait to flaunt her new physique this summer.
Donna, an office worker, said: “Despite losing a lot of weight I didn’t feel comfortable because of my excess skin.
“I went from the extreme of being the fat person to having a hanging blob of mess.
“It didn’t feel like there was any reward for losing the weight.
It was like I was being punished by having the excess skin everywhere.
“My stomach was the worst, it hung down below my privates, so half way down my thighs and my boobs had completely deflated.
“It looked like when you see someone really old who has loose-looking sagging granny skin.
“I wouldn’t like being naked in front of my husband, when I saw myself I was disgusted and thought he must be thinking that too.
“He knew how upsetting it was for me and so he decided to help me by paying for a ‘mommy make-over’ as a gift.
“After having 4lbs of loose skin removed from my stomach and implants for DD breasts, I felt amazing.
“When I put on a bathing suit and saw myself in the mirror I started crying, I couldn’t believe how far I’d come.
“Now I can wear bikinis for the first time in all of my 33 years. I loved it and no longer am embarrassed as I know I look great.”
Donna piled on the pounds over the years after consuming massive portions of carbohydrate meals combined with sugary coffees.
At her heaviest, her body mass index stood at 56 – which put her into the World Health Organisation’s highest level of obesity.
Donna said: “Throughout the day I was drinking Starbucks Mochas and just ate the wrong foods, the one large meal I would eat was always full of carbs.
“I would gorge on a large full plate of spaghetti with bread, salad and dessert after that.
“I weighed 260lb but was the height of an 11-year-old so it all added up.”
Due to her weight, she avoided rollercoasters, had to have a seat-belt extender on planes and never felt comfortable in a bikini, always choosing to cover up instead.
Donna added: “Anytime I went swimming I was completely embarrassed and tried to hide, even while trying on clothes I didn’t want to look in the mirror.
“When I used to visit my parents in Florida, going to the beach in a bathing suit was too terrifying, I used to have panic attacks at the thought of it.
“But one day everything changed, I woke up and knew I couldn’t keep living like this, it didn’t feel like I was living at all.”
She researched weight loss surgeries online and underwent a £71,000 (90,000USD) gastric bypass paid for by her insurance in 2013.
From there she dropped down to an impressive 7st 12 (110lb), which Donna attributes to following her diet very strictly and exercising at home.
She said: “I learned that keeping on top of your weight is a lifestyle and when I crave chocolate I eat a protein chocolate bar or for carbs I eat a cracker.
“I didn’t go to the gym, I would exercise at home walking through my neighbourhood, doing squats, push-ups, sit-ups you name it I’ve done it.”
But after her weight loss, the mum felt humiliated by her remaining saggy skin, feeling that it made her feeling unattractive.
Donna added: “It’s your femininity, if any woman is honest your breasts and curves are your identity as a woman, if you don’t have them you completely lose confidence.
“I didn’t want to be topless because of the skin, what makes you a woman is having that hourglass figure and for me when it was gone it was really hard.”
Thanks to surgery from her husband she’s now confident enough to show off her body in a bikini for the first time in her life.
Donna said: “Before, I had to tuck my excess skin into clothing that was two size bigger, now I can wear tops that show off my stomach and fit into kid’s clothing.
“I used to have a 32 D-cup which was mostly skin, now I’m back to a DD thanks to the implants, it’s like being 18 again.
“When I wear a two-piece bikini my husband regularly tells me that I look better than every other girl.
“Sometimes I look at pictures of myself and think ‘holy crap that’s me’, I still do it to this day.”
Husband David Clayton, 37, maintains he’s extremely proud of his wife’s achievements but says her main change is psychological.
David said: “Donna was very happy with her weight loss, but still had self-esteem issues about her skin and breasts.
“The surgery, allowed her to feel better about her body, something she could not do by just dieting.
“Now she’s happier and never talks about the disappointment of her loose skin, also she is no longer ashamed to be naked in front of me.
“I am incredibly proud of her, but I am more proud about how disciplined she is with her diet.
“Many individuals you see putting weight right back on, but my wife maintains a healthy weight with a very strict proper diet.
“She looks better now approaching her mid-30s than she has ever looked in her entire life.”